Emphasis on results treats people as things

On his personal blog Texas preacher Kevin Cauley wrote today something that is valid for churches the world over, and especially for those who tend toward the practical and toward efficiency:

This [emphasis on results] never works with the church because the church is not a product, the church is a people, and we should be people focused. People are not predictable.  They have free-will.  You never really know what they are going to do.  For this reason, they can never be “results.”  People are not results.  When we look at people as if they are a result, we dehumanize them.  They cease being people and start becoming a commodity.  Jesus didn’t die for a commodity; He died for people.  Things are commodities; people are not commodities.  Things may be abused,  misused, and destroyed.  People may not be abused, misused, and destroyed.  Our mistake is that we use people and love things when we should be loving people and using things (thank you Dick Sztanyo for this point)!

What do we lose when we are results oriented?  People.  People become means to an end.

Read the whole article here.

Biblical articles from a mission perspective

Alabaman Mike Brooks has been writing for quite a while as a columnist for Forthright Magazine. His column is called “Field Notes,” reflecting his experiences in Nepal and Bangladesh. Mike spends about six months a year in those two countries. He normally uses some event or happening as a starting point for his articles. These serve as an excellent perspective to keep one from getting too comfortable with one’s own culture.

Others who write for Forthright also have cross-cultural experience. Jon Galloway lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. Stan Mitchell grew up in Africa, son of a missionary. Yours Truly, of course, is a marathon guy in Brazil.

So reading Forthright Magazine, you get a huge dose of missions. FMag is unique in that way. Another good reason to sign up.

The ongoing need for sustainable missions

I almost let the Gospel Progress website go by the wayside. There’s not much demand for it. Most missionaries and missions trainers already have too much to do, yours truly included. And what difference would one little website make in the big scheme of things?

But didn’t the Lord say that where one or two are gathered, he is there in their midst? The context? Saving a soul. Continue reading “The ongoing need for sustainable missions”

No option to determine who should hear

Jesus does not give to Christians the option of determining who should hear the message of salvation. The gospel is to be preached to “all creation” or to “every creature” Mk 16.15. We have no way to judge accurately who will accept and who will not. To judge receptivity, or the lack of it, in a person’s heart, before the message is shared, is to put ourselves in God’s place.

The rescue mission of Proverbs

Very interesting perspective on Proverbs and 24.11-12 especially:

Suffice it to say that, in the dramatic context of Proverbs, this verse has a different immediate force. The ones “being taken away to death” and “staggering to slaughter” are the fools and simpletons of the early chapters of the book. Throughout those chapters, the simpleton is depicted as one who blissfully follows the adulteress to the grave (2:18-19; 6:33; 7:22-27; 9:18). Proverbs 7:22 says that the fool follows the woman Folly as “an ox goes to the slaughter.”

In context of the whole book, then, Proverbs 24:11-12 instruct us to rescue fools and simpletons from the folly and simplicity. The idea is close to that of James 5:20: “he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.” The rescue operation in view in Proverbs 24:11-12 is primarily the rescue of foolish sinners from the highway that leads to the grave.

via Biblical Horizons » No. 43: The Dramatic Structure of Proverbs.

Willing to go through a thousand deaths

If Paul could only know the consolation and hope that he has ministered to the countless generations who have marched along the pathway from the cross to the kingdom above! He would be willing to go through a thousand lives and a thousand deaths such as he endured for the blessing that has followed since his noble head rolled in the dust by the Ostian Gate of Rome. Continue reading “Willing to go through a thousand deaths”